A Guest Editorial by Eric Ulis
Until recently I was registered as a Republican, albeit a centrist. That said, I am going to make a prediction: In the wake of the moral bankruptcy demonstrated by the Republican Party during the Trump Era, the party of Trump is about to get annihilated at the ballot box.
Importantly, if my predicted ballot box bloodbath of the Republicans–that will likely manifest itself over the next few election cycles–occurs, it will provide a rare opportunity for independents and centrists who have long been alienated by both parties and now make up roughly a third of all Americans. This opportunity would represent a once-in-a-lifetime shot at crafting a major political party that operates independently of rabid political partisanship.
As the Democrat Party and Republican Party have moved precipitously toward their respective extremes, many centrist Americans have found themselves wandering in a vast political wilderness devoid of a homestead from which to effectively express their views. This is not good for American democracy.
To be sure, there have been efforts to corral these disenchanted voters by way of third party movements such as the Reform Party in the 1990’s and the Tea Party in the 2000’s. However, these efforts have been difficult to sustain and even more difficult to grow primarily because the deck is stacked against third parties in the United States.
America’s current political infrastructure is not designed to favorably accommodate three major political parties. In fact, there are many systemic barriers in place at both the federal and state levels which impede ballot access among other things. With limited access to the ballot in particular, it stands to reason that building a bench of qualified elected officials who can then parlay such gains is nearly impossible.
Also, let’s not forget that a presidential candidate must earn at least 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. If the 270 vote threshold is not earned by any presidential candidate, the outcome of the election is decided by the House of Representatives. This is very problematic and fatally limiting to third party presidential candidates because the Congress is dominated by the two major political parties. Put another way, they’re not going to elect your guy.
With all of this in mind, a rare opportunity for the vast, under-represented, political center is on the horizon. Specifically, it involves a hostile takeover of the space that a hollowed-out Republican Party would leave behind as it lights itself on fire by way of its Trumpism.
As the Republican Party is hollowed out, independents and centrists could act en masse and migrate to the Republican Party apparatus–that will still enjoy significant institutional advantages as a major political party–and fill it with new people, new ideas and new principles. Let me be clear, this is not to suggest that the independents and centrists who would make up this bold move embrace the Republican Party as it stands today. Rather, this is simply a strategic move designed to take advantage of an opportunity to re-invent a major American political party.
Enough is enough. Trillion dollar deficits, selling out to international adversaries, race baiting, abuse of power, boldface lying to the citizenry, putting party over country, blind partisan loyalty, and the win-at-any-cost attitude has got to end now.
Editor’s Note: Eric Ulis is a former Republican precinct committee officer from Arizona. This week, he changed his political party registration from Republican to Non-Affiliated.
Eric Ulis, standing on the far right, is joined by the editor of the Mountain News-WA, Bruce A. Smith on the far left. Sandwiched in-between is their good friend, Mark Metzler. These “three amigos” gathered together in 2018 to discuss the DB Cooper case in Portland, Oregon.